For it to be the opening stages of the wrestling season, the East Union Lancers came out with the intensity of a squad with postseason aspirations, taking care of Edison High with three pins in a 54-30 dual match win Wednesday at the Dalben Center.
Sierra High made the trip north to take on the Tokay Tigers and outstanding defensive play helped the Timberwolves return victorious, holding the Tigers in check on their home court in a 48-38 win over Tokay Wednesday in preseason action.
RIPON - Just moments after Ripon High's standout 215-pound wrestler, Travis Smith, posted the fastest pin of the night, heavyweight Mike Goldberg of Lathrop did his even faster - and quickness isn't a trait you'd normally associate with the weight class.
Missed free throws nearly cost Sierra High's girls basketball team Tuesday at Beyer.
RIPON - The first four minutes were far from perfect for Ripon Christian, but things got straightened out in a hurry. The Knights jumped all over the visiting Hughson Huskies with a first half run and never let up in a 55-18 blowout Tuesday.
In a battle of defending league champions, it was host Modesto High of the Modesto Metro Conference that prevailed 51-45 over East Union.
MODESTO – Despite a 10-2 run by Golden Valley midway through the fourth quarter Saturday in the Consolation Championship of the Modesto City Classic, East Union found itself in position to send the game into overtime with two 3-point attempts by Brandon Cline in the closing seconds. Both long tries rimmed out and the Cougars escaped with a 65-62 win at Johansen High School.
West High of Tracy had East Union beat on the look test.
The East Union Lancers once again relied on sharp-shooting and solid defense to take a step further in the Modesto City Classic Friday night by downing Los Banos 56-45 and secure their second victory of the season.
The combination of strong defense and sure-shooting helped the Ripon Christian girls cruise to its second victory in as many nights, this time by a 48-28 margin over the Downey Knights in the consolation championship of the Escalon Tournament Friday.
Manteca High freshman forward Tia Tuuga said she was nervous, but she did a horrible job of showing it in her varsity debut Thursday at Winter Gymnasium.
For the second straight night, Manteca High's boys basketball team didn't get off to a good start, but this had nothing to do with lazy defense or a cold-shooting offense.
LATHROP - The Ripon High girls varsity basketball team incorporated tough pressure defense to go with plenty of hustle plays while routing the Spartans in Thursday's non-league game.
An improved defensive performance proved to be the key for the Ripon Christian girls basketball team in its second game of the season Thursday night.
STOCKTON - After defeating St. Mary's 48-24 Tuesday night due in part to seven Rams forfeits, East Union found itself up by five points going into its last bout of the night with Sarah Phillips needing to avoid being pinned to give the Lancers a win over host Bear Creek.
Ripon High girls golf coach Eric Dambrosio was encouraged by what he saw from his young team in Tuesday's Valley Foothill League North Division opener.
After giving up the lead in the fourth quarter Thursday, Sierra bounced back with a 28-yard touchdown pass from Caden Worth to Brandy James with 4:53 showing on the clock and held on for the 12-7 win over visiting Ripon in non-league freshman football action at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium.
Weston Ranch successfully defended its Stagg Brown and Gold Cup crown on Saturday, securing the championship with a 2-0 win over the host team.
The Ripon and Sierra football teams will rekindle their rivalry in the marquee Zero Week game tonight.
LODI - Leagues are realigned.
Manteca and East Union are out for revenge, while Lathrop's second-year head coach returns to his hometown to lead the Spartans onto familiar grounds.
Brooke Riley stood shoulder to shoulder with a teammate, both staring down the third fairway at Manteca Park Golf Course.
LATHROP – Alfredo Reynaga hasn't wasted any time putting his stamp on the Lathrop High boys soccer program.
Weston Ranch isn't going to surprise anybody this year.
Ripon Christian has re-established itself as a force among Sac-Joaquin Section small-school powers following eight straight losing seasons.
The Ripon High boys soccer team didn't just lose the area's top player from a year ago.
Kevin Mendiola wheeled back with his right foot and took the ball off a bounce, sending it crashing into the back of the net.
An undefeated league record and a playoff win would be seen as successful for most teams. Ripon Christian did that in the 2013-2014 season, and for the Knights it was an off year.
In this her 10th year in the Sierra volleyball program, Timberwolves coach Trinity Johnson is looking to improve on last year's 1-13 Valley Oak League record – 3-19 overall – and she is not afraid to think outside the box to do it.